M. Joe Crosthwait, Jr., received his undergraduate degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1971 and his Juris Doctor from the Oklahoma City University School of Law in 1974. While in law school, he served as president of his class and was employed as a Legal Intern for Oklahoma Attorney General Larry Derryberry.
He took and passed the Oklahoma bar exam before graduating, and, in 1974, upon graduation he was immediately admitted to the Oklahoma Bar Association, opened his solo practice in Midwest City.
Among his early accomplishments was establishing and being the first Director of the Legal Assistant Program at Rose State College (what was then Oscar Rose Junior College).
Joe was an early adopter and innovator of technology in the legal profession, having been one of the founding members of the American Bar Association’s Computer Committee and for now nearly four decades closely involved with both the ABA and the Oklahoma Bar Association’s technology efforts.
Joe continues to be recognized by judges and lawyers nationally and statewide for having superb legal skills and the highest ethical standards, as evidenced by his AV Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell. Additionally, Joe has been named a Super Lawyer by SuperLawyers.com.
Academically, Joe has been elected to the prestigious American Law Institute, the leading national independent organization of highly qualified lawyers, judges, and law professors, who draft model laws and clarify principles of law and which is highly influential with Congress, state legislatures and courts.
Joe has also been elected as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation, an honorary organization of attorneys, judges, law faculty, and legal scholars whose public and private careers have demonstrated outstanding dedication to the welfare of their communities and to the highest principles of the legal profession. Membership in the Fellows is limited to one percent of lawyers licensed to practice in each jurisdiction.
In order to improve his skills as a lawyer and better assist his clients, Joe became a Certified Financial Planner in 1993, and maintains this certification to this day.
Throughout his career, Joe has regularly taught continuing legal education courses on a state and national level. Joe has also served as President of the Oklahoma County Bar Association, the Oklahoma Bar Association, and the National Conference of Bar Presidents, as well as the Oklahoma City University School of Law Alumni Association. He is also a Sustaining Benefactor Fellow of the Oklahoma Bar Foundation and served as a trustee of the Foundation for six years.
He serves in the American Bar Association House of Delegates where he continues to serve as a delegate after more than 15 years. He has served the ABA on a wide range of committees and efforts including the first American Bar Association Computer Committee, as well as the Standing Committee on Law and National Security, Chair of the Standing Committee on Solo and Small Firm Practitioners, and the House Committee on Scope and Correlation of Work.
Joe has been recognized nationally with the American Bar Association's Small Firm Merit Award (awarded to one small law firm nationally each year for outstanding service to clients, the profession, and the bar), and the American Bar Association's Edward Finch Law Day Speech Award (3rd place).
Locally, Joe has received the Oklahoma Black Lawyers’ Diversity Award, the Oklahoma City University School of Law Distinguished Alumnus Award, the Oklahoma County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers’ Trailblazer Award, and numerous others.
Joe was also Assistant Municipal Judge of Midwest City for 10 years and served on the Oklahoma State Temporary Court of Civil Appeals for two years. He also served on and chaired the Midwest City Economic Development Commission. He currently serves as Trustee for the Rose State College Foundation.
Most importantly, Joe’s focus has always been and remains his clients and their needs.
Professional Associations and Activities
American Bar Association House of Delegates, 1995-96, 1999-2000, 2005- Present Chair, Standing Committee on Solo and Small Firms, 2003-2004 (member since 1999) Vice-Chair, General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Section MentoringCommittee, 1996-98 Vice-Chair, General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Section Juvenile Law Committee, 1996-Present Member, Science and Technology Section Millennium Project Committee, 1997-2000 Founding Member, Computer Committee, 1980-83 Sustaining Life Fellow, American Bar Foundation (Elected 1999) Member, Committee on Research on the Future of the Legal Profession, 1999-2002 Member, Task Force on Lawyers’ Center for Personal Legal Services and Client Development, 2002-2004 Member, Executive Council, National Conference of Bar Presidents, 2001-2004 President, National Conference of Bar Presidents, 2008-2009 Chair, Solo Advocacy Group, GPSolo Division (2005- present) Standing Committee on Law and National Security Law Advisory Committee, 2007-2011 Co-Chair, Oklahoma Fellows of the American Bar Foundation, 2013 Oklahoma Bar Association President, 2000 Member, Board of Governors, 1997-99 Chair, General Practice Section, 1997-98 Chair, Mandatory Post-Admission Task Force, 1997-1999 Member, Strategic Planning Committee, 1984-89; 1995-Present Chair, Solo and Small Firm Task Force, 1994-97 Member, Solo and Small Firm Committee, 1995-Present Member, OBA/Management Assistance Program (MAP), 1996-Present Fellow, Young Lawyer’s Division Chair, Legal Assistant Committee, 1976-82 Chair, Professional Economics Committee, 1982-86 Chair, Law Office Management and Technology Section, 1986-96 Chair, Law Day Committee, 1992-94 Member, Professionalism and Civility Task Force, 1998-Present Sustaining Benefactor Fellow and Trustee, Oklahoma Bar Foundation, 1995-2000 Board of Directors, Oklahoma Lawyers for Children, 2012-13 Professional Responsibility Tribunal, Oklahoma Bar Foundation, 2012-15 Oklahoma County Bar Association President, 1994-1995 Vice-President, 1992-1993 Law Library Trustee, 1990-1992 Chair, Law Day Committee, 1994 Member and/or Chair of numerous other committees including Fee Grievance and Ethics, Bench and Bar, and Judicial Screening
Recipient, ABA Small Firm Merit Award, 1999 Recipient, Edward R. Finch Law Day Speech Award, Third Place, 2001 Recipient, Diversity Award, Oklahoma Black Lawyers’ Association, 2000 Recipient, Distinguished Alumnus Award, Oklahoma City University School of Law, 2002 Recipient, Oklahoma County Bar Association Pro Bono Award, 2006 First Recipient of the Oklahoma County Bar Association Young Lawyers' Division Trailblazer Award, 2007 Recipient, Oklahoma County Bar Association Bobby G. Knapp Leadership Award, 2013, 2018 Recipient, Oklahoma Bar Association Joe Stamper Distinguished Service Award
Certified Financial Planner — Certification received in 1993 First Director of the Legal Assistant Program at Rose State College (the First Junior College to receive Full ABA Accreditation) Sustaining Fellow, College of Law Practice Management since 1998 President, Oklahoma City Dinner Club, 1992-98 Member, Board of Directors, Oklahoma Congregate Housing for the Elderly and Disabled, 1982-2006 Member and Chair of Midwest City Economic Development Commission, 1986-94 Associate Municipal Judge, City of Midwest City, 1986-96 Member, Oklahoma Temporary Court of Civil Appeals, 1994-95 Member, Midwest City Memorial Hospital Ethics Committee, 1986-Present President, Board of Directors, OCU School of Law Alumni Association, 2002-2005 Master, Ruth Bader Ginsburg American Inn of Court Member, Board of Directors, First National Bank of Midwest City, 1983-1996 Member, Oklahoma Adoption Law Reform Committee, 1995-1998
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Estate Planning; Estate Litigation
- Personal Injury
- Probate Administration
- Certified Financial Planner®
- Family Law
- Oklahoma City University, J.D., 1974, University of Oklahoma, B.A., 1971
- University of Oklahoma, B.A., Political Science, Economics, 1968 – 1971
- Westminster College, 1966 – 1968
- 1974, Oklahoma;
- United States District Courts for the Eastern, Western and Northern Districts of Oklahoma;
- United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit;
- United States Supreme Court
- Assistant Municipal Judge, City of Midwest City, 1985-1996
- Judge, Temporary Court of Appeals, State of Oklahoma, 1994-1995
- Chair, ABA Standing Committee on Solo and Small Firms, 1999-2003
- ABA Committee on Research on the Future of the Profession, 1999-2003
- Member, ABA Standing Committee on Law and National Security, 2005-2010
- President, OCU School of Law Alumni Association, 2002-2004
- Emeritus, Ruth Bader Ginsburg American Inn of Court
- President, National Conference of Bar Presidents, 2008-2009
- Oklahoma County Bar Association (President, 1994-1995)
- Oklahoma Bar Association (President, 2000; Fellow, Young Lawyers Division)
- Member, House of Delegates and Standing Committee on Scope and Correlation of Work of the ABA, 2010-Present
- Fellow, American Bar Foundation
- Sustaining Fellow: College of Law Practice Management
- American Law Institute, Elected 2010
- Pulliam v. Pulliam, 796 P.2d 623, 59 USLW 2119, 1990 OK71; Kerby v. Kerby, 60 P.3d 1038, 2002 OK 91; Swick v. Swick, 864 P.2d 819, 1993 OK 151; Reeves v. Parker, 143 P.3d 516, 2006 OK CIV APP 113